Blending Business and Travel: Interview with Entrepreneur Cam Woodsum

Business-minded with a serious case of wanderlust, entrepreneur Cam Woodsum quit his back-to-back jobs in Silicon Valley to travel the globe, and did so with purpose. He founded Nomad Impact Ventures, an e-commerce start-up lab that builds for-profit impact businesses while exploring the world at the same time. From writing travel guides to sharing inspiration on his blog, camwoodsum.com, Woodsum also keeps busy with his two other start-ups: money-saving BillSlasher and audience engagement platform FanBump. Sprangled was fortunate enough to catch up with Woodsum on the adventurous experiences that make up his everyday life.

Where are you from and where are you living now?

I’m from Boston, MA, and now I’m a nomad who changes locations every 5-8 weeks. I’m currently in Lake Tahoe, CA, and this year I’m planning to live in Miami, Medellin, Lisbon, Budapest, Berlin, Bali and Taipei. I post a fair amount on Instagram so follow me there if you’re interested in following along.

What inspired you to begin traveling the world?

I originally caught the nomading bug when I traveled the U.S. and Canada in 2015 launching new markets for DoorDash, a food delivery startup. More recently, I started traveling the world because I wanted to live cheaply while figuring out what type of business I wanted to start. Now I’m hooked and can’t imagine going back to a normal life of living in one place.

How many countries have you been to, and which countries are on your wish list?

39! I’m excited to explore many countries in Europe this summer as Portugal, Hungary, and Germany will all be new for me. I’m also particularly interested in doing a road trip through Africa but this trip probably won’t happen for a little while.

How does your website combine world impact, freedom, and entrepreneurship? What sparked this meaningful idea? 

Nomad Impact Ventures is the parent company of a number of internet businesses including BillSlasher and FanBump. The concept behind Nomad Impact Ventures is that we (my business partner, Andrew, and I) operate profitable e-commerce businesses while traveling the world and the majority of profits are funneled into an impact fund that invests in mission-oriented companies focused on education, healthcare, and climate change.

World impact: We’re creating world impact by investing in and (eventually) building impact focused businesses. We’re focused on creating impact, not personal wealth.

Freedom: By traveling the world and living by our own rules we’re living very free (and fun) lives.

Entrepreneurship: I love building businesses.

This concept was sparked by my love for building businesses, wanting to create lasting change in the world, and wanting to live a great life personally. I think I’ve custom designed a business and lifestyle that meshes all of these perfectly.

Can you share a bit about how you’re able to get around the globe often?

We work really hard on our businesses and live frugally. This combination gives us enough financial freedom that we should be able to do this forever.

What is your favorite travel experience?

I’ve particularly loved living with host families across the globe. I’ve found it’s the best way to deep dive into a local culture and to fully understand how locals live, eat and think. I lived with host families in Vietnam, Australia (my cousins), and India and they were all phenomenal experiences. It’s pretty easy to find a host family to live with on Airbnb for anyone that’s interested.

What has been your most eye-opening travel experience?

I lived in Bangalore, India for five weeks last year and it was the most interesting, different, and challenging place that I’ve ever lived. I think the city is about 2.5-3 times more intense than Manhattan. One of my biggest takeaways is how most Americans (and westerners) talk about India as if it’s one place with one culture. People gave me advice such as “don’t eat the meat!” but India is a country of 1.3 billion people with 22 official languages. The cultures are very different region to region and the same way that you wouldn’t give someone the same advice if they are visiting Canada vs. Mexico, you shouldn’t give someone the same advice if they’re going to South India vs. North India.

Travel opens up a world of opportunities. How has it changed your life?

This is too long for one sentence so I’m going to make this a list.

Travel has made me:
  • Much more easy-going
  • Love and appreciate humanity
  • Become more grateful and humble
  • Become happier
  • More confident in myself
  • Able to live my dream life

Do you have advice for other adventurers looking to make travel a larger part of their lives?

Take action and do it! Traveling the world is much easier and cheaper than most people realize.

Here are my two favorite resources right now:

Where to travel and cost of living comparisons: https://nomadlist.com/
The ultimate list of digital nomad jobs: http://christhefreelancer.com/digital-nomad-jobs/

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